It’s NXT time and we’re kicking off with the return of Sami Zayn!
Dressed in street gear including a natty flat cap, he talks about his tour of Abu Dhabi and how he couldn’t stop thinking about Kevin Owens. Solid, honest promo from Zayn, setting up the inevitable rematch.
Match 1: Rhyno vs some dude
The man-beast is back against an unnamed jobber, hitting a punch followed by massive belly to belly suplex to set up the gore. Gore, pin and three count. Thanks for your time, mister jobber.
Rhyno gets on the mic and says he came to NXT to get the championship, throwing out challenges to Finn Balor, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Not the best promo in the world, but promos have never really been Rhyno’s strength.
Blink and you’d miss it match, followed by a quick promo. I hope Rhyno is not being paid by the minute.
Promo for Dana Brooke, who debuts in two weeks. She works out a lot, apparently.
Recap of the awesome Owens / Balor match from last week.
Match 2: Bayley vs Emma
Bayley dances her way to the ring, armed with a newly developed mean streak, according to the commentators. Emma looks totally bored as she walks out because Emma doesn’t take Bayley seriously.
Stalling and jawing to start. They finally lock up and have a nice sequence of chain wrestling, ending with Bayley taking down Emma with a shoulderblock. Emma responds with a legsweep and a quick cover, but Bayley kicks out at one. Bayley with a back rollup, then a clothesline by Emma.
Emma throws Bayley head first into the turnbuckle, then shouts some positive words in her face. Tough love, perhaps? Another head slam to the next ‘buckle and hard kick to the gut, followed by a head slam into the third corner. If I’ve ever seen a wresting match, Bayley will reverse when Emma tries to hit the final turnbuckle.
Elbows from Bayley but Emma hits another kick to the gut and attempts to throw Bayley into the fourth turnbuckle, but Bayley miraculously reverses! Emma’s head is slammed into the turnbuckle time and time again.
Bayley slams Emma into the second turnbuckle and goes for a splash, but Emma reverses and lock in the tarantula, which is now apparently called the Emma Lock because Tajiri is a minority so fuck him, right WWE Universe?
Bayley is slumped in the corner and Emma lines up the Emmamite Sandwich, which is both a low crossbody in the corner and the worst name for a finisher that I have ever heard. Arrogant cover from Emma but Bayley reverses at two and a half and gets the three count!
Solid match from the NXT Divas.
Interview with Becky Lunch, who complains about her lack of title shot. At least, I think that was what she was talking about. Her Irish accent is still pretty thick. Hey, how long before WWE makes an Irish stable with Finn Balor, Seamus and Becky Lunch? They could call it the New IRA…
Match 3: Lucha Dragons vs Blake and Murphy
Blake and Murphy hit the ring first, looking very happy to be wearing the titles. The Dragons are next, making the best of a mini-tramp as they leap into the ring. Murphy starts out against Kalisto, using his superior size and strength to power out of a Kalisto wrist lock.
Reversals into a springboard armdrag from Kalisto, and Murphy is thrown out of the ring. Blake tries to attack from behind but Kalisto low bridges him and both of the champs are on the outside. Tag to Sin Cara, who hits a suicide plancha through Kalisto’s legs, taking out both Blake and Murphy.
Huge moonsault from the top from Kalisto, and Blake and Murphy are nice enough to catch him, taking themselves out in the process. Murphy is rolled back into the ring and Sin Cara lays in some strikes, then tags back to Kalisto. Headlock from Kalisto but Murphy manages to make his way over to the corner and tags Blake, who helps toss Kalisto to the floor.
Blake throws Kalisto back into the ring and hits a pin for a one count. Elbow drops and another pin only gets one, so Blake goes for WWE’s favourite rest-hold, the dreaded rear chinlock. Kalisto eventually reverses and hits a nice wheelbarrow rollup, but Blake kicks out and hits a big clothesline.
Tag to Murphy who hits a double knee drop to Kalisto’s head, which is a pretty sick looking move. Pin and a kick out at two. Murphy then goes to the chinlock, but Kalisto once again eventually fights and flips his way out for the hot tag to Sin Cara. Flying headbutt takes Murphy down, followed by some hard strikes and a springboard crossbody from Sin Cara.
Blake sneaks in for the save but Sin Cara knocks him out of the room with a running elbow, then hits a springboard moonsault on Murphy. Kicks and chops in the corner followed by an enziguiri from Sin Cara, taking Murphy down and allowing the luchador to head to the top rope. Before he can hit the swanton bomb Blake pushes him off, then hits a big right hand as Sin Cara runs the ropes.
Tag to Blake, who heads to the opposite turnbuckle as Murphy hits the running vertical suplex on Sin Cara. Frog splash from Blake as Murphy drags Kalisto to the outside, allowing Blake to get the pin and the three count on Sin Cara.
Another good match from the tag champs.
Match 4: Tye Dillinger vs Jason Jordan
The former tag partners are facing off, and Dillinger seems to have shaved a heart into his hair to show how serious he is. Jordan looks cocky as he walks to the ring, and starts the match by shoving Dillinger in the chest.
Dillinger responds with an elbow to the face, chops and a kick. Jordan works the power game and hits a big shoulderblock in the corner to take control. Jordan hits a couple of front suplexes and then a running splash, then mounts Dillinger and slaps him around a bit.
Obligatory rear chinlock from Jordan, but Dillinger reverses, then hits an elbow and a rollup. Atomic drop from Dillinger, followed by a chop, Russian legsweep and a stomp. Dillinger sets up Jordan in the corner and hits some mounted punches, but Jordan launches him into the air and drops his head onto the turnbuckle.
Jordan picks uo Dillinger, hits an overhead suplex for the pin and the three count.
Not a bad match, but nether competitors interests me much at this point, to be honest.
Match 5: Hideo Itami vs Tyler Breeze
This is a 2 out of 3 falls match, and starts out with an extended lockup showing that the competitors are of similar strength. Breeze finally backs Itami into the corner and hits some shoulderblcoks and punches, followed by a running clothesline.
Coast to coast running elbow from Breeze, but when he goes for a second Itami follows him and hits a jumping clothesline in the corner. Irish whip from Itami into a big knee, taking Breeze down. Running kick to the chest followed by a strike combination and running dropkick in the corner, and Itami is on fire!
Irish whip into a running shotgun kick from Itami, for the pin and the first fall.
Breeze seems to be out of it in the corner, and the ref holds Itami back. Of course, Breeze uses the distraction to hit the beauty shot and the pin for the second fall.
Back from the break and Breeze is in control, wearing Itami down and going for multiple pin attempts. Big dropkick from Breeze gets two, then a pair of knees and a legdrop get another two. Rear chinlock because WWE, then a missed dropkick from Breeze and stiff clotheslines from Itami.
Big running knee in the corner from Itami, then the guillotine DDT over the top rope. Breeze dodges the flying clothesline, Itami reverses again and hits a sweet discus clothesline for a pin and a two count. Itami goes for the fisherman suplex but Breeze rolls him up with an inside cradle. Kick out at two.
Sunset flip from Itami leads to a pin reversal sequence, supermodel kick, pin and a kick out. The crowd chants for Hideo as both men struggle to their feet. Breeze gets there first and hits some knees to Itami’s face, but this just fires Hideo up and he responds with strikes of his own.
Itami sets up the hesitation dropkick but Breeze rolls out of the way. Breeze goes for the beauty shot but Itami dodges, then connects with the hesitation dropkick in the corner. Irish whip and Itami is going for the running kick, but Breeze hits the beauty shot instead for the pin and the three count!
Top quality match from both men, although the first two falls would have benefitted from more time. Compared to last week’s show, this week’s matches felt rushed and a little throwaway.
Tags: Hideo Itami, NXT, sami zayn, Tyler Breeze